Monday, May 29, 2017

President Buhari marks two years in office

In 2015, when Nigerians went to the polls, hopes were high in the country that Buhari would improve on the security situation especially in the northeast of the country, end rampant corruption and revamp the economy. Buhari had inherited a broken system from his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, whose party the People's Democratic Party, (PDP), had run the country for the last sixteen years but virtually failed to embrace good governance principles.

Two years down the road, despite his bad health, Buhari has been able to improve on the security situation in northern Nigeria that had been run down by Boko Haram Islamists. Nigeria's minister of information and government spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, is full of praise for President Buhari.

"When the President was sworn in May 2015 at the Eagle Square, about 20 local governments out of 27 in Borno state were under the control of Boko Haram. Four local governments in Adamawa and three in Yobe state respectively. As we speak today there is no single territory under the control or command of Boko Haram and that is not a mean feat," Lai Mohammed told DW.

"Again, the president promised that he will do everything possible to ensure that the abducted Chibok girls were released."

"In less than two years we were able to secure the release of over 100 of these girls. When you look at the phenomenon of insurgency and hostage taking all over the world you see that this is a very remarkable achievement," he stressed.

Beyond the issue of restoring peace in north eastern Nigeria, the current government also boasts of fighting corruption in the country, with several corruption cases being heard in various courts within the country.

Not all is a bed of roses

The plethora of achievements as articulated by the information minister, however, seem not to impress some Nigerians who say that the government needs to buckle up and improve on their livelihood.

"People cannot pay house rent and are struggling to pay school fees. We cannot properly feed our families," Juliana Obolonye said.

Chesa Chesa, a resident of Abuja, also told DW that inflation was high in the country, and because of the economic recession, prices of food stuffs were on the rise. But he also reserved some praise for Buhari.

"On the security front he has considerably performed well except for the frequent attacks between herdsmen and farmers in the plateau region. So security-wise, I can say kudos," Chesa said.

Buhari's record in fighting corruption is what endeared Peter Inalegwu to his government. "We had no idea how corruption had wrecked our country until when he decided to clampdown on corruption," Inalegwu said.

Despite the achievements that have been attributed to President Buhari, he has been away for most of the time in London seeking medical treatment. In his absence his deputy Yemi Osinbajo won himself admirers as the true hero behind these achievements.

Dr. Garba Umar Kari, a political analyst and lecturer at the University of Abuja, thinks the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did a commendable job in the abscence of his boss, Muhammadu Buhari.

"He has been able to ensure that government programmes run smoothly, and to a large extent they [programmes] have not been adversely affected, "Umar Kari said.

For now, Nigerians will have to wait for another two more years to decide whether or not Buhari carries on the mantle of leadership albeit health concerns.

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